Natasha Lane
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How to Select Digital Marketing Agency for Your Startup

Natasha Lane

July 27, 2018

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The rise of digital marketing over the course of last decade or so has been more than obvious. It’s no surprise really, knowing that the number of internet users is growing by the day. In fact, constant usage of internet among adults has increased by 5% in only three years. Naturally, this trend isn’t about to stop any time soon.


This doesn’t mean that traditional modes of marketing are dead, but they’re definitely not sufficient. There’s a growing importance of proper SEO, social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing, influencer marketing and a number of other digital marketing branches for your startup. Which of these strategies you’ll employ depends on your goals, as well as the size and type of your business.


But when it comes to picking the right agency to handle your digital marketing efforts, it can get a bit tricky. Especially if you don’t really know much about it. There are marketing agencies all over the place, with their sponsored posts popping up in social networks like crazy, claiming that they’re the best choice for you. So how do you know if you can trust them? There are a few tricks you can use to find this out.


Check their online presence


Obviously, an agency that boasts about their expertise and promises great results needs to prove that they can take care of their own digital channels. So you should check their website and their social networks. A decent indicator is how often they post new content. If their page hasn’t been updated in weeks, then they’re probably not going to take promoting your business too seriously as well. On the other hand, if they’re spamming their followers with 30 posts a day, that might give out a feeling that they’re a bit desperate or impulsive, and you don’t really need any of that.



Their social media stats are also indicative, although they could be deceitful as well. A huge number of followers suggests the agency is either very successful or simply out of their niche. It’s not about how much followers they have, it’s about how well they engage their target audience. So don’t get tricked by mere numbers - instead, keep an eye on how involved their audience is and how good, consistent and relevant is the content they post.



Same goes for their website. Check the quality of the content and functionality of the website. If these things aren’t in order, the agency isn’t likely to be diligent and detail-oriented. You shouldn’t really have much trouble finding their websites. Just simply google them or check out some of the numerous online digital marketing agencies listings, such as the one provided by DesignRush.



Mind their previous experience

Most of the agencies will have a list of their former clients displayed somewhere on their website. This can reveal if they have the much-needed experience with digital marketing in your industry. You could even analyze the exact campaigns they conceived and executed for these companies. This can give you an idea whether or not they know your market and whether you’d be happy with something of similar quality yourself. You can even contact some of their previous clients (if you happen to know any of them) and ask them to share their impressions about the agency.


Moreover, you need to make sure that the agency fits you not just industry-wise, but also in terms of particular digital marketing services you need. You can hear very good things about how a certain marketing team handles SEO issues, but if you need someone to manage your entire content strategy, you still might want to look elsewhere.


Visual identity

A reputable agency needs to take good care of their visual identity. You have to pay attention to this detail, even if you’re not interested in any design-related service yourself. Just like the functionality of the website, the quality of their design tells you a lot about how devoted and meticulous they are. If the agency’s website and social media look nice, consistent and appropriate to their target market, it demonstrates that they may display the same level of competence in other areas. Otherwise, you probably want to write them off.



It’s possible to judge the agency’s efficiency and work ethic as soon as you approach them. The very first email or phone call may give out crucial details about the inner workings of their company. If they need several days to respond or if they fail to answer your questions but instead keep making empty promises to fascinate you, you should give up on them. On the other hand, if they’re quick, straightforward and honest in their communication, that may just be the right starting point of a successful partnership.


Don’t be afraid to walk away

At the end of the day, even if an agency has all the mentioned qualities there’s still a chance these people are a bunch of charlatans about to waste your money. This is something you can never know for sure. Therefore, sometimes it’s best to trust your instincts, even if everything seems in order at the first glance. If these people don’t look credible for whatever reason or you simply can’t make yourself to trust them, sometimes it’s best to just walk away during any part of the process. There’s a lot of good agencies out there and you don’t want to throw your money away on ones that promise the world but fail to deliver any significant results.


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